The New Balance Coco CG1. Engineered for tennis. Inspired by basketball. Now, tested for pickleball. Following the Skechers Viper Court Pro performance review, we now take Coco Gauff’s first signature shoe to the kitchen and back, thanks to New Balance.
New Balance Coco CG1
A high-performance shoe that will do well on all courts.
Release Date: September 1, 2023
The New Balance Coco CG1 provides a great true-to-size fit and also comes in both standard and wide foot options to accommodate as many foot types as possible. Personally, the standard size is one-to-one with a pleasantly snug fit.
I’ve had a not-so-great experience with midfoot gore bands running too tight in the past, however, the Coco CG1 utilizes this elastic strap in a way that enhances the fit without sacrificing comfort from being too tight.
Nearly everything you could ask for in a court shoe in terms of support is provided in the New Balance Coco CG1. The carbon fiber Energy Arc embedded in the midsole (often used in New Balance running shoes) provides a ton of torsional support and also acts as a stable spring plate for the north and south movements provided in pickleball.
For lateral movements, the multi-layered upper provides containment and is reinforced by the aforementioned gore band for a little extra help. The heel is also well supported — not because of the rare mid-collar height as a tennis shoe — but because of an adequate internal heel counter that I would guess is made from TPU based on its feel and slight flexibility.
I am willing to say that support may be by far the best aspect of the New Balance Coco CG1. Everything from the bottom up seems to lend itself to being a supportive shoe. It may not have aggressive outriggers, but the wide-enough, low-to-ground stable base all the way to the layered upper design all make this a secure performance silhouette without feeling overly bulky. It’s as solid as they come.
The full-length FuelCell foam midsole is a great combination of court feel and cushion. At a lower density, the nitrogen-infused foam is great at offering a bit of plushness while not sacrificing responsiveness and allowing the feeling of remaining connected to the court.
I am very impressed with the resilience of the cushion over time. Judging by the number of compression lines that can be seen from wear during testing, one might expect the midsole to feel bottomed-out, however, the Coco CG1 feels just as great as the first few wears after breaking in.
I’d also like to note that the insoles play a big part in the cushion experience as well. Rather than the Ortholite insole found in the launch colorway reviewed by Chris, the blue inserts of my colorway seem to be more of a proprietary polyurethane. Either way, I’m all-in when it comes to cushion setups that perform like this in racket sports.
If you enjoy a court shoe that will stick when you need it outdoors, but still allow you to slide into shots when necessary, and last a decent amount of time in play, the Coco CG1 should get the job done.
I have noticed wear around the lateral forefoot toe area a bit quicker than something like the Skechers Viper Court Pro, but it’s of little concern to me. Honestly, I’m more worried about why I’m planting my foot that way. Maybe I’m trying too hard to salvage shots that get past me…who knows.
Take the collar height as a “con” with a grain of salt. It personally does not bother me at all, however, I do notice the mid-cut and fully understand that many people who are used to playing in lower-cut court shoes may feel somewhat restricted in the Coco CG1.
New Balance Coco CG1 Summary
The New Balance Coco CG1 is simply a high-performance shoe that will do well on all courts. The Coco CG1 knocks it out of the park in terms of performance. The aesthetics created from the multi-layer mix of functional materials make it a well-designed silhouette as well.
This is one of those pairs I wouldn’t mind owning multiple pairs of if I weren’t testing as many different shoes as I can. If you don’t mind higher-cut shoes or think that you could get used to them, then I would absolutely recommend the New Balance Coco CG1 as a pickleball or tennis shoe.